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Organic Trade Association names new CEO and executive director

Organic Trade Association logo
Industry veteran Tom Chapman will replace outgoing CEO Laura Batcha next month, OTA announces during Organic Week activities.

Tom Chapman will be the new CEO and executive director of the Organic Trade Association, the organization said Tuesday. He will join OTA on April 18.

Laura Batcha, OTA's CEO and executive director, announced in October she would be stepping down this spring. She joined the staff of OTA in 2008 and has served as CEO and executive director for eight years.  

Tom Chapman, CEO and executive director, Organic Trade Association, effective April 18, 2022"I couldn't imagine a better, more experienced person for this role than Tom," Batcha said in a released statement. "Tom has been contributing to the advancement of the organic industry for nearly 20 years and has led many different aspects of the work, which gives him a great sense of the entire organic tapestry. With Tom at the helm and working alongside our capable staff and dedicated members, OTA and organic will continue to thrive."

Chapman also has a long history of service to the organic industry, including a five-year stint on the National Organic Standards Board. He has helped to advance certification and compliance, successfully managed global supply chains and managed multi-million-dollar contracts. He has worked closely with diverse brands, growers and other organic stakeholders. He has significant experience building relationships from the ground up and nurturing public-private partnerships. Chapman is also a skilled policy setter with years of experience at both the state and national levels.

"I am honored to be joining the Organic Trade Association," Chapman said in the released announcement. "More and more, Americans are looking for products that protect the environment, that make positive impacts on climate change and that enhance their communities—choosing organic achieves all that and more. I am thrilled to be leading an organization with such incredible staff who are ready to champion organic causes on behalf of our members."

At Natural Products Expo West in 2018, Chapman was a presenter during a session on organic supply chain integrity. That same year, as director of ingredient sourcing at Clif Bar, he joined OTA's lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture for failing to put into effect new organic livestock standards.

Most recently, Chapman served as senior director, supply chain at Kinder's Sauce and Seasoning. Before that, he worked with OTA members Clif Bar and Quality Assurance International.

Chapman has also served on the boards of directors for Mercaris and California Certified Organic Farmers, both of which are OTA members; as National Organic Standards Board chair from 2015-2020; and as a member of the California Organic Products Advisory Committee at the California Department of Agriculture from 2007-2016.

"We are thrilled to have Tom Chapman join the Organic Trade Association as our new CEO," says Paul Schiefer, OTA board chair and senior director of sustainability at Amy's Kitchen. "Tom has dedicated his career to furthering organic agriculture and brings professional expertise, values-alignment and a collaborative and deliberate management style that delivers results. We have full confidence that Tom will make an immediate positive impact to grow our trade, move our bold steps forward and support continuous improvement to achieve even more remarkable social and environmental outcomes."

Source: Organic Trade Association

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